Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Heavy Rotation Redux (2-Fer Tuesday Edition)

There's been a few albums that have grown on me lately. They're albums that I liked a bunch when I first heard them but recently I've noticed I'm digging them even more that I did a few months ago. Usually this happens to music that you don't love from the get-go. The kind that, after a while, works its way into your neural net and launches some kinda synaptic tet offensive; a guerilla warfare between the hemispheres of your brain. And without even realizing it, you've internalized some weird love for some songs that you'd previously been antagonistic to or ambivalent about. But not here. I really dug these albums right off the bat. But for whatever reason I'm now totally in love with them. Must be springtime, eh?

Side project of Mono-Pause/Neung Phak mastermind Mark Gergis. Porest's sound is a deliciously crude mix of sample-heavy, pan-Middle Eastern pop and political head-rapping. All of Gergis' projects are the work of a master meme-shifting, bomb tossing, prankster-provocateur and his Discordian tendencies fly at full mast here. Numerous perspectives compete against and alongside one another in a caustic expression of frustration with our brave new, post-9-11 world. Indeed Porest is a great example of the violent reaction that should result when art and politics meet. Often the result is watered down or childishly black and white. Tourrorists! is stinging, catchy, shocking, funny, and outrageous in turns.
Here's a decent review. Here's a funny review by someone whose head it went over. And here's a fantastic interview with Gergis and members of his wonderful Southeast Asian sideproject, Neung Phak.

Not exactly instrumental and not exactly "song" oriented, the juggernaut that is Devil Music thunder through their compositions with the force of a runaway locomotive. Urgent yet psychedelic; their take on rock might, on a paticularly foggy night, be compared to a more cinematic Shellac or Lightning Bolt... maaaaybe*. Go! is a wild ride from start to finish. It's full of strange arrangements and unexpectedly heavy hooks. It's their second official rock album and about their 8th release as one incarnation or another. You see, the basic lineup is as a three-piece with drums, guitar and affected violin drenched in backing keyboards (supplied by the double-duty violinist). They also perform film scores and modern classical music as the Devil Music Ensemble where the group expands to include a bigger string section (sometimes up to a 40-piece orchestra). Why Devil Music haven't made a bigger splash is a mystery. Maybe they're just another in a long line of Boston bands to be criminally ignored. Who knows.

*Defining bands by naming other bands is an odious sin in the record review world as far as I'm concerned. I'm a hack for using this tool, I know. But I'm just about out of gas for the day.

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